Improving a Basic Right and Privilege – Missouri Senate

By on December 6, 2021 0


One of the things that sets this country apart from others is allowing people to vote for their leaders. Since the start of the pandemic last year, we have learned that this right can be fragile and must be protected at all costs. Since the spring of last year we have had several elections and have seen a number of approaches to allow people to vote. Now that we’ve had a chance to see how different voting methods can and can’t work, I think it’s time to take what we know and put it into practice.

That is why I pre-tabled Senate Bill 633, a comprehensive measure of electoral integrity and reform. While it contains some familiar ideas, it also encompasses new technology, keeping voter safety in mind. We must continue to make voting as simple as possible, but also with fairness, security and integrity.

My proposal would allow a local election official to oversee the ballot counting machines and ensure that these machines are not connected to a network that could include anyone. At the same time, SB 633 would strengthen paper ballots as the official tabulation for an election, define “postal voting” and allow postal voting without excuse. It would allow more people to vote earlier. This bill also seeks to strengthen the postal voting rules for those who cannot vote in person due to illness or other disability. In addition, the postal voting rules that were used last year due to the pandemic would be repealed.

Senate Bill 633 would also repeal the provisions allowing people to vote by signing a declaration and providing non-photo identification, and repealing the provisions relating to the conduct of provisional ballots specific to the same person. Anyone who does not present photo identification can cast a regular ballot, provided the ballot is placed in a verification envelope with a verification affidavit attached to the front. The elector would then complete the affidavit. After completing the ballot and affidavit, the voter placed the envelope in a verification ballot box.

Electoral integrity is important to me. With what I think are relatively minor changes, we can make our elections more secure, which should build confidence that everyone’s vote matters, because it does.

As always, feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is [email protected], and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.